impostor syndrome

or im·post·er syn·drome

[ im-pos-ter sin-drohm ]

  1. anxiety or self-doubt that results from persistently undervaluing one’s competence and active role in achieving success, while falsely attributing one's accomplishments to luck or other external forces.

Origin of impostor syndrome

Coined in 1978 by Pauline Rose Clance (born 1938) and Suzanne Imes (born 1944), U.S. psychologists, in a psychology journal article “The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention”
  • Also called im·pos·tor phe·nom·e·non, im·post·er phe·nom·e·non [im-pos-ter fuh-nom-uh-non] /ɪmˈpɒs tər fəˌnɒm əˌnɒn/ .

Words Nearby impostor syndrome Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use impostor syndrome in a sentence